Peter Winkler tells us why he wrote a biography about Dennis Hopper, and what Hopper thought about film, art, and acting:

“I was the best actor in the world, pound for pound — I mean the best young actor. I didn’t think there was anyone to top me. Until I saw James Dean. Watching Dean act was like watching someone pull miracles out of the air. He fascinated me. Because he was working internally, and I was working externally. I was an actor who’d come out of Shakespeare. My experience of acting was line readings, precise gestures, knowing what you were going to do next. Everything I was doing was preconceived, although it looked very natural. Dean completely disregarded any direction in the script. He would do a scene differently every time. It came straight out of his imagination, his improvisation. I didn’t understand how he was arriving at those conclusions, because he was having real emotional feelings, real emotional reactions. He also had a way of physically expressing himself that I’d never seen another actor do. I didn’t know what he was doing, but I knew it was great.”

Read the whole interview here.

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